In what will be a disappointment to some, British Airways will be moving some of the 747 fleet away from Cairo and Tel Aviv and switch them for Airbus A321’s.
But thankfully, not A321’s configured in an EuroBusiness style.
Instead, these routes will have the ex British Midland International Airbus A321’s, with a reconfigured Club World Layout and an Economy Section. In terms of numbers, there will be 23 Club World seats, and 131 World Traveller Seats.
Or as BMI flyers will know these seats better – those things that have been sitting in a hanger at EMA in limbo.
The Club World Seats themselves are the ones used on Swiss and Finnair.
Seating configuration will be something new. To give a “proper” business class feel, they will be in a staggered in the cabin in 1-2 and 2-1 configuration (1 on the left, 2 on the right, the next row is 2 on the left, 1 on the right, etc). The cabin itself will have new carpets, curtains and lighting installed too.
The configuration hasn’t been a secret – it’s been talked about on the BMI Diamond Club Forum for some time. Whilst BA have released a seat plan on Business Traveller, it requires a microscope to read.
So here’s one that you don’t need a microscope for:
The actual seat spacing and configurations look good:
- Business class: 23 Thompson Aero Seating 78″” lie-flat beds with 45″ seat pitch with mains and USB Power
- Economy Class seat: 131 Geven “Piuma” economy seats with 31″ pitch with USB Power
- Brand new IFE to be installed to all seats using the Thales i5000 AVOD package,
Before flying on the British Airways routes, if you have BMI flight booked, keep an eye open for A321’s. The first unit should be out of the shop and flying soon, with others going for conversion as time goes on.
Whilst some flyers will morn the loss of a wide-bodied plane on these routes (and thus offering four class service, including BA First and World Traveller Plus), this can be seen as a move by British Airways to redeploy the aircraft where they’re needed and not sitting on shorter haul flights.
There is also the angle of yield per seat that comes into play, and British Airways is thinking it can get the a better yield per seat with an A321 compared to a B747.
All interesting, and for Cairo – the game changes from January 2013…
I wonder what it will do to the wonderfully prices AONE from Tel-Aviv, now the F class will no longer be available.
TLV isnt serviced with any 747s its 1 777 and 1 767 on the 2 daily flights
Phil Hasson says
BA must have a death wish. Once the change is implemented, El AL will be the only airline operating wide-body jets between LHR and TLV. Why would anyone pay those inflated BA fares for a narrow-body?
If it was the traditional Eurobusiness, I’d agree. Thankfully there’s a great new Club World product on the A321’s (that were exBMI) that is rolling out.
The drop back of widebodies can be put down to cost, or wanting to deploy to routes other than TLV which make more money.
Saying that, I don’t think Lufthansa operates a wide-bodied service to TLV (in fact, I’ve just done a little check – A320’s and A321’s in Eurobusiness. Lovely.)